Lowry thanks Raptors organization, fans: 'This will forever be home'

Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

After nearly a decade building a case as the greatest player in franchise history, Kyle Lowry is no longer a member of the Toronto Raptors.

But even with Lowry set to join the Miami Heat on a reported three-year, $90-million contract, Canada's lone NBA market - and the country as a whole - "will forever be home" for the 35-year-old.

"This is hard to write, but the time has come for the next chapter in my story to begin. But the bond I share with you is unbreakable," Lowry wrote in a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram post. "There's so many things I want to say about the city of Toronto (and) Canada as a nation. I just can't put them all in this piece."

Lowry reflected on how his early doubts and "a want for trades" eventually gave way to resounding success, including the team's first championship in 2019.

"The ups and downs have been well worth it," the six-time All-Star wrote. "It's all part of the journey. Toronto will forever be my second home, and I will always be tied to the franchise, the city, and the country of Canada, which makes me so happy to say."

Lowry departs Toronto sitting atop the franchise leaderboard in assists (4,277), steals (873), 3-pointers (1,518), and triple-doubles (16). Only former All-Star running mate DeMar DeRozan played more games and scored more points in a Raptors uniform.

On his "best friend" DeRozan, whom he played alongside from 2012-18, Lowry wrote that he "wouldn't have been able to build the relationship I've been able to build with him without this city."

Former Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, who acquired Lowry from the Houston Rockets via trade in 2012, and Dwane Casey, Lowry's head coach from 2012-18, received complimentary shoutouts in the point guard's post. So too did the Raptors players and staff associated with the 2019 championship team, from now-president Masai Ujiri to head coach Nick Nurse.

Lowry concluded with an eye toward the Raptors' future, promising fans the team is on the right track thanks to the emergent core of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Fred VanVleet.

"Toronto, you are in good hands with Pascal, OG, and Freddie, my little brother," he wrote. "Y'all already built the foundation and will continue to grow. I love y'all!

"I've legit gave blood, sweat, and tears and everything I could! Thank you, Toronto, thank you, Canada; this will forever be home!"

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Lowry thanks Raptors organization, fans: 'This will forever be home'
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